Happy Birthday To Scarsdale’s Ivan Edward Sutherland

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Ivan Edward Sutherland turns 76 on Friday.
Ivan Edward Sutherland turns 76 on Friday.

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Scarsdale’s Ivan Edward Sutherland.

Sutherland, a longtime Scarsdale resident, turns 76 on Friday.

Sutherland, a computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born May 16, 1938, in Hastings, Neb.

He invented Sketchpad in 1962 while at MIT. Sketchpad was an innovative program that influenced alternative forms of interaction with computers. Sketchpad could accept constraints and specified relationships among segments and arcs, including the diameter of arcs. It could draw both horizontal and vertical lines and combine them into figures and shapes. Figures could be copied, moved, rotated or resized, retaining their basic properties. Sketchpad also had the first window-drawing program and clipping algorithm, which allowed zooming. Sketchpad ran on the Lincoln TX-2 computer and influenced Douglas Engelbart's oN-Line System. Sketchpad, in turn, was influenced by the conceptual Memex as envisioned by Vannevar Bush in his influential paper "As We May Think."

He received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1988 for the invention of Sketchpad, an early predecessor to the sort of graphical user interface that has become ubiquitous in personal computers.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the National Academy of Sciences among many other major awards.  In 2012, he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology for "pioneering achievements in the development of computer graphics and interactive interfaces.”

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